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Toyota investing $50 million in artificial intelligence for cars

September 11
8:17 AM 2015

Toyota announces that the company is venturing into creating more intelligent car industry. According to the announcement, the Japanese car manufacturer is investing $50 million for research purposes in collaboration with Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The five-year deal covers research in Artificial Intelligence for both the car and life-improving robotic sector. According to the deal as reported by Information Week, both universities will develop a system that could improve car functionality in an urban landscape.

While for the robotic sector, the plan is to create a robot beneficial for elder care in the future.

When asked whether this research will bear similarity to Google, Dr. Gill Pratt said that the research aims at improving driver's experience instead of creating a driverless car like Google's project.

Pratt is a former program manager for US Defence Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). He is in now charge as the program director for the Toyota collaboration.

According to Tech Times, research carried out at MIT will be headed by Daniela Rus and will focus on the advanced architecture system. While in Stanford, Professor Fei-Fei Li who is also the director for Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will be the head research and will focus more on the machine learning system.

Research in both universities will be done in prestigious laboratory founded by John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky in the 60's.

The New York Times also reported, Toyota's vision for this project is to create a system where the artificial intelligence will learn and corrected a human mistake when driving. Currently the only similar system available are pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, and alert system to help the driver stay alert when driving.

Through this development, Toyota said that they are hoping that the technology created from the research will also be used in the self-driving car to improve their system since both technologies are alike.

The latest announcement is putting Toyota at par with other company likes Google and Microsoft in terms of research. Both Google and Microsoft have been extensively developing and partnering with other universities to improve their self-driving car. 

Aside from this project, Toyota is currently involved in other projects as well such as Cooperative-Adaptive Cruise Control and Vehicle to Vehicle (V2) technology both for the car industry.

In the past, Toyota has developed a similar technology to improve self-driving car known as Lane Trace Control System. The system enables a self-driving car to detect the road lane and always position the car at the center of the lane.

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